This film takes us on a cultural journey through the eyes of Lead Artist César Viveros as he breaks down the project’s focus, his process in creating our community ofrenda, and the amazing public engagement that came as a result. The film also includes commentary from additional project personnel. This short documentary is by Irving Viveros and Addision Reyes, commissioned by the Philadelphia Folklore Project and supported in large part by the William Penn Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Across diverse communities and throughout the world, altars have been spaces for veneration and introspection. They are structures that assist individuals and communities during moments of celebration as well as during times of need or despair. The Philadelphia Folklore Project’s La Ofrenda initiative captures stories of hope, resilience, faith, fear, and strength that are pillars of home altar-making practices within Mexican immigrant communities in our city. Renowned artist César Viveros has collected the stories behind the altars of local community members as a way to preserve and celebrate a sense of belonging.